Rothamsted Research

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A new climate-smart companion cropping system allows African farmers to substantially increase their yields

Rothamsted scientists, in partnership with icipe, have developed a climate-smart push-pull companion cropping system which allows smallholder African farmers to sustainably increase their agricultural production.

Using appropriate combinations of carefully selected companion crops, scientists at Rothamsted Research, in a collaborative project led by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), have shown how smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa can increase their agricultural production amid the challenges posed by climate change.

Pyrethroid resistance monitoring in cabbage stem flea beetles – Call for Samples

A call for samples of cabbage stem flea beetle has been made by Rothamsted Research, for use in monitoring the development of pyrethroid resistance.

Cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) damage in the 2014 year contributed to estimated losses of 2.7% of the winter oilseed rape (WOSR) area in England and Scotland, although there was significant regional variation.

In Hampshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire 40% of the WOSR was reported as having damage levels at or above treatment thresholds.

Samples sent for testing at Rothamsted Research contained beetles that were strongly resistant to pyrethroids. As a result, Rothamsted is doing a follow up survey for resistance in 2015.

The potential environmental harm of nanoparticles contained in sewage sludge

An international study, involving Rothamsted Research scientists, reveals the potential harm of tiny metal particles contained in treated sewage sludge.

A team of international scientists, including scientists from Rothamsted Research, have found that treated sewage sludge containing tiny man-made metal particles, called nanoparticles, may be toxic to plants and soil microorganisms. The build-up of what are man-made metal particles in sewage sludge has the potential to impact the use of this recycled material as an agricultural fertiliser.

Opening up innovation in plant science

The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise opens the Lawes Open Innovation Hub.

The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, RoCRE is leading a transformation in how advances in plant science can be translated into practical solutions for farmers in collaboration with the agricultural industry.

The newly opened Lawes Open Innovation Hub is targeted specifically at enhancing relationships between businesses and researchers to deliver new agricultural technology. Enterprises operating in the building will benefit from working alongside scientists from Rothamsted Research and their high level of expertise in a range of research areas.

‘The most ambitious of field studies’

Rothamsted Research features in a new book publication, The Story of Parliament: Celebrating 750 years of parliament in Britain.

Rothamsted Research, which is strategically funded by the BBSRC, features in a newly published book called The Story of Parliament: Celebrating 750 years of parliament in Britain. The book celebrates the 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s Parliament of 1265—a key moment in the origins of parliament.

The world’s first Field Scanalyzer is up and running at Rothamsted Research

A unique facility for field phenotyping has been officially launched at Rothamsted Research.

A world first for automated measuring of crop growth and health in the field was installed for Rothamsted Research in 2015 by LemnaTec GmbH. This is the world’s largest and most sophisticated facility built today and will revolutionise the way that crop health and growth are monitored in the field. The development of the facility has been supported by Rothamsted Research and the BBSRC.

The first GM oilseed crop to produce omega-3 fish oils in the field

Scientists at Rothamsted Research announce the first year results of the field-scale trial of Camelina oilseed plants genetically engineered to make omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.

In a landmark paper published today in the journal Metabolic Engineering Communications, scientists at Rothamsted Research have announced the first year results of the field-scale trial of Camelina oilseed plants genetically engineered to make omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.

Securing the future of soil and the goods & services it provides us

Rothamsted Research, in collaboration with other leading UK research institutions, have been awarded £1.6M for research into Soil Security.

Scientists at Rothamsted Research, in collaboration with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Lancaster University, the University of Aberdeen and Imperial College London have been awarded £1.6M from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Soils Security Programme, to investigate how we can ensure sus

Scientists disappointed at results from GM wheat field trial

The results of the GM wheat field trial held by Rothamsted Research in 2012-2013 are published today.

The results of the GM wheat field trial held by Rothamsted Research in 2012-2013 are published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports today. The data show that the GM wheat did not repel aphid pests in the field as was hypothesised and was initially seen in laboratory experiments conducted by scientists at the Institute.

'The Real Beef about Meat'

Rothamsted Research, in collaboration with other leading UK research institutions, presents the ‘The Real Beef about Meat’ at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

Rothamsted Research, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, University of Exeter and University of Reading, is delighted to present an exhibit entitled ‘The Real Beef about Me

Rothamsted Research plays a part in shaping Europe’s sustainable energy future

Having made a significant contribution to a new world report on sustainable bioenergy, Professor Angela Karp is to speak at the 2015 EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference in Brussels.

Professor Angela Karp, who leads Rothamsted Research’s strategic research programme ‘Cropping Carbon’, funded by the BBSRC, has played a significant role in the development of a new international report entitled ‘Bioenergy & Sustainability: bridging t

Rothamsted Research embarks on an ambitious future with a new leadership team in place

Four senior directors have been appointed to work with Rothamsted Research’s director and chief executive, Professor Achim Dobermann, towards shaping the Institute’s future vision and strategy.

Rothamsted Research has undergone a restructuring process to further strengthen its scientific leadership, operational systems and external relations function that will support the delivery of excellent science and practical solutions to the farmers of the future. The leadership team is comprised of:

How should the valuable resource that is livestock slurry be stored?

New research considers the impact of mechanically separating livestock slurry into a liquid and solid fraction during storage on ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions.

Livestock slurry is valuable source of free, organic fertiliser, which farmers can spread on farmland. However, gases which can be lost from slurry, during collection, storage and spreading, are of environmental concern. Scientists at Rothamsted Research and the University of Milan, Italy, have examined the effect that mechanically separating anaerobically digested cattle and pig slurries into their liquid and solid fractions during storage has on ammonia and greenhouse gases  emissions.

Rothamsted Research and John Innes Centre at Cereals 2015

Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre to showcase the latest innovations, information and insight from the Institutes arable research at Cereals 2015.

Scientists from Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre (JIC) will join an estimated 25,000 farmers, agronomists and industry suppliers at Cereals 2015, from Wednesday 10th to Thursday 11th June at Booth

News flash: Insecticide resistance in the pea and bean weevil has been detected in the UK

Urgent research underway in response to reports of failure to control the pea and bean weevil with pyrethroid sprays.

Urgent research to understand the nature and extent of insecticide resistance in an increasingly damaging pest of peas and beans is underway at Rothamsted Research. The work is in response to reports of failure to control the pea and bean weevil (Sitona lineatus) with pyrethroid sprays, which are a special chemical class of active ingredients found in many modern insecticides used by growers.

A new degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security is ready to welcome its first students

September 2015 will be the first academic year for the new BSc (Hons) Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security; students will benefit from the expertise of four leading institutions in Hertfordshire.

Recognising the significance of training the future generations of specialists in the agricultural sector, Rothamsted Research, which is strategically funded by the BBSRC, The University of Hertfordshire, The Royal Veterinary College and Oaklands College are bringing together their expertise in this new undergraduate programme.

Ragweed pollen concentrations predicted to rise by 2050

Airborne ragweed pollen concentrations across Europe are estimated to reach levels 4 times higher than under current conditions by 2050.

Ragweed is an invasive plant from North America with highly allergenic pollen that is spreading northwards from Central Europe. Currently, instances when ragweed pollen loads across the UK are high enough to result in hayfever symptoms are rare. But can we expect these events to become more frequent and severe in the future in response to climate change?

Potato Blight Alert Aims to Provide Early Warning to Growers for Smart Spray Management

Rothamsted Research, the James Hutton Institute and a consortium of six partners have been awarded funding of over £1.06M to develop optimised detection and control solutions of Potato Blight.

Rothamsted Research, The James Hutton Institute and a consortium of six partners led by Crop Performance Ltd., and including Spearhead Marketing Ltd., G’s Fresh, Velcourt Group Ltd, Frontier Agriculture Ltd., Burkard Manufacturing, and James Hutton Limited (formerly MRS Ltd.) have been awarded funding from Innovate UK with co-funding from AHDB Potatoes

Rothamsted Research presents the Soil is Life! Research Exhibition Day

Come and join Rothamsted Research scientists for the Soil is Life! Research Exhibition Day - Sunday May 17th, 2015 10am to 5pm

In celebration of the International Year of Soils, Rothamsted Research presents the Soil is Life! Research Exhibition Day - Sunday May 17th, 2015, from 10am to 5pm. We will showcase the Institute’s ongoing soil research, which is at the heart of sustainable agriculture.

Making advances in the production of “insect repellent perfume” for crop protection

A new approach allows scientists to make imitations of a naturally occurring insect repellent odour

Scientists at Rothamsted Research in collaboration with Cardiff University, have, through the power of a novel approach, made new insect repellent odours (or semiochemicals). The novel approach uses a combination of biological and chemical techniques to imitate a naturally occurring odour. The new, non-naturally produced odour molecules look differently but work similarly to the original, naturally occurring insect repellent odour.

Rothamsted Research Views: Is modern farming destroying soil? Read Prof Keith Goulding’s opinion piece

Prof Keith Goulding is discussing the statement “the world on average has just over 60 years of growing crops” and what our research shows for the effects of modern farming on soil.

We are now well into the International Year of Soils, with events happening all around the country. There’s lots of information about it on the British Society of Soil Science’s website at was very pleased with the attendance at our meeting ‘Soils and Climate Change’ at Rothamsted on 24th February. We had about 120 guests and some very lively discussion, not least with some Climate Change doubters.

A balancing act: fine tuning the production of plant cell membranes

Plant cells regulate the rate of membrane production by altering their chemical composition

Scientists from Rothamsted Research , who are strategically funded by the BBSRC, have discovered a mechanism that allows plant cells to regulate the rate at which they produce membranes. The work is published in the journal The Plant Cell.

A new and unexpected metabolic pathway that underpins seedling establishment

Seeds use an enzyme called pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) to produce sugar from their storage reserves providing the energy needed to kick start seedling establishment

Collaborative research between scientists at Rothamsted Research, the University of Cambridge, and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology has led to the discovery of a new and unexpected metabolic pathway that helps seeds to maximise the use of their seed storage reserves during seedling establishment.

A breath of fresh air: two new airborne disease research projects begin at Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research scientists receive funding to focus on the real time detection of airborne diseases.

Scientists at Rothamsted Research, with funding from HGCA, are to begin work on two new airborne disease research projects. Both research projects are to focus on the real time detection of fungal disease pressure, before visible symptoms develop, thereby aiding the timely application of fungicides.

Seasonal timing of biological events is shifting under a changing climate

Five decades of change in migrating aphids

BBSRC funded scientists at Rothamsted Research, have shown how long-term data collected by the Rothamsted Insect Survey (RIS) are crucial for linking national scale changes in the climate with the changing behavior of Britains’s insects.